by Michael J. Shapiro | April 11, 2018
The newly renovated Los Cabos International Convention Center has reopened to host the Destination Wedding Planners Congress, currently under way in the Baja Peninsula resort town on Mexico's Pacific Coast. More than 600 destination-wedding professionals are gathering at the venue, which had been closed since suffering damage from Hurricane Odile in September 2014. Last June, the Baja California Sur state government awarded a management contract for the facility to a Mexican-Spanish joint venture, which was also given the task of renovating the building.
The convention center, which is in San Jose del Cabo, provides nearly 68,000 square feet of meeting space and can accommodate as many as 8,000 attendees. The renovations are not entirely complete, however, and there are no further events currently booked for the venue. Officials do not yet have an expected completion date for the project; nevertheless, they are optimistic about the facility's progress.
"The renovation and grand reopening of this state-of-the-art convention center is a transformative moment for Los Cabos tourism, as we elevate our offerings across the board to attract new travelers -- business and leisure alike -- to the destination," said Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, in a statement. 
Tourism is on the rise in the destination, increasing by 16 percent last year and posting its strongest performance since 2010. Officials are looking to the MICE segment for further growth. Last year, the meetings industry represented 14.3 percent of tourist arrivals in Los Cabos.
The convention center offers three main exhibition areas and 11 breakout rooms. In terms of its environmentally friendly features, the facility can produce 412,000 kilowatts of solar power -- thanks to 1,008 solar panels on the roof -- and it sports a 29,000-square-foot green wall.
The convention center renovation is part of an infrastructure boom in the area, which  includes a US$50 million airport terminal expansion project and US$1 billion in hotel investment; 5,000 new guest rooms are predicted to come online by 2023. 
Tourism growth in the region has come despite security concerns, however. A soaring homicide rate -- largely targeted incidents related to organized-crime cartels -- has plagued the region. Los Cabos officials addressed the problem head-on last fall by unveiling a five-point security plan, which currently is being implemented.